Monday, May 7, 2012

A free file sharing virtual hard drive on the cloud -- Dropbox

While there are other competing services out there from Microsoft and Google I like this companies' offering for its simplicity and ability to share folders and files with specific friends or the public at large.

In short, you download a program and create a folder (originally called Dropbox, but you can change the name and location) on your hard drive. Anything you place in this folder is uploaded to the cloud and stored in a virtual location. Now comes the fun part. You download the software on another machine and kaboom, Dropbox automatically syncs the two folders. You place a file in the Dropbox folder on your home machine and it is automatically synced with your work machine.  You can control the bandwidth allocated to the Dropbox app if you are concerned about it hogging all your resources if needed.

It gets better:

  • You can share certain sub directories with specific people and there is also a Public directory so you can share files with the general public.  Their blog reports they are rolling out an auto archive capability of all your photos and video on your smart phone.
  • They keep revisions of all your files for 30 days. If someone screws up a file or mis crops a photo, no problem, roll back the file! 
  • It's free with 2GB of storage. They sell very large plans (up to Terabyte + sized!) if you are needing something more. 
You can download the free software here.
(I get an increase in my free storage space allocation if you use their software through that link, but that is the extent of my compensation from Dropbox)

I don't put my business data on Dropbox as I'm a bit concerned about security but for pictures, company research I'm doing at home, etc it is a great way to move files about. Several years ago I spent a lot of time and effort maintaining something similar at a small business and it was a pain in the ass that never quite worked right.

 It's a testament to the blinding pace of technological progress that a company now provides the same service in a much faster and easier format, for free.

No comments:

Post a Comment